BriteSwitch News & Updates

RebateDirect Tool

5 States With the Most Interest in Rebates

In the past, we’ve investigated where the best areas for lighting rebates are, but now we’ll explore where there is the most customer interest for rebate information. Our RebatePro and RebateDirect tools are used on a variety of manufacturer and distributor websites and tools to help customers find and estimate rebates. Using anonymized data from the thousands of requests we processed in the last year, we can see that the top 5 states where customers were looking for rebates are CA, PA, TX, NY and IL.

Learn more about rebates in these 5 states

Networked Lighting Controls and Rebates

Networked Lighting Controls & Rebates

Since the addition of a networked lighting controls category to the Design Lighting Consortium (DLC) list in 2016, it has been seen by many as the next big thing in lighting. Seeing the opportunity to gain additional energy savings from commercial buildings, rebate programs have been trying to decide how to incorporate networked lighting controls into their offerings. It has proven difficult since these projects are usually complex and it's hard to establish a deemed energy savings for each project.

Learn more networked lighting control rebates

2019 Rebate Trends

Rebate Trends for 2019

Over the past few months, rebate organizations across the country have been busy updating their programs for 2019. We've noticed the following trends for this year:

-Higher Rebates for LED Fixtures, Lower Rebates for Replacement Lamps
-Networked Lighting Control Rebates Are More Standardized
-73% of the US Offers Lighting Rebates
-Midstream Programs Still In The Minority

Learn more about the 2019 trends

10 years of rebates

Lighting Rebates: The Past 10 Years And What’s Next

Lighting rebates are a way for electric utilities to reduce electric demand and increase energy efficiency across North America. More generally known as demand side management programs, they have been around for the past 40 years but have really gained more traction over the past 10 - 15 years.

Here, we take a look at the past 10 years in lighting rebates and make predictions on where they will go in the future.

Learn more

Traditional Lighting

Rebates For Traditional Lighting Are Disappearing

Traditional lighting technologies like pulse start metal halide, T5HO and induction used to receive hefty rebates. At the time, these solutions offered significant energy savings to customers and their rebates could range from $30 to $150 per fixture. Rebate programs have started to move away from these traditional technologies as LEDs prove more energy efficient.

While the dollar amounts of the rebates for these products have stayed relatively consistent, the number of available rebate programs has dropped by 30% in the last year alone.

Learn more

2018 Rebate Trends

8’ DLC Tube Category Brings New Rebate Options

While 4’ fixtures represent a large portion of the commercial market, many people don’t realize there are many 8' fixtures out there. In industrial, education and retail applications, 8’ fixtures are fairly common with some of them still being T12. That means they present a huge opportunity for energy savings.

Originally there were few 8' LED tubes on the market, so most customers would have to use a retrofit kit to convert the 8’ fixture to use 4' tubes instead. Eventually 8' LED tubes entered the market, but without a DLC category there were few rebates available.

Since the addition of the 8' DLC tube category, there are now more than 5 times the number of utilities with rebates available for 8' tubes and almost double that for 4' tubes and retrofit kits.

Learn more

2018 Rebate Trends

Rebate Trends for 2018

Over the past few months, rebate organizations across the country have been busy updating their programs for 2018. We've noticed the following trends for this year:

-LED Rebate Amounts Start to Level Out
-Rebates For DLC Standard vs Premium
-Control Rebates Are Still Strong As Ever
-What’s Next? Biax / PL-L Lamps & 8’ tubes

Learn more about the 2018 trends

Project Payback

Make Lighting Projects Pay For Themselves Even Faster

Upgrading to LED lighting will save you a significant amount on your electric bill. These energy savings basically pay for the cost of the project over time. The point where you break even is called the payback time. For example, if the payback of a project is 2 years, it means the project basically pays for itself within 2 years and after that all the savings in energy are yours.

See the full article

rebates as a sales tool

Using Rebates To Increase Your Sales

There’s no doubt that rebates can be a strong tool to help close sales. With over 79% of the US currently covered by an active commercial lighting rebate, it's a tool that every contractor, distributor and manufacturer should be using. Below are just some of the ways rebates can help increase your sales.

  • Achieve better project paybacks
  • Stand out from competition
  • Lower your cost without hurting your margin
  • Use rebate deadlines to motivate customers
  • Use retroactive programs to get back in touch with customers

Learn how to use rebates to increase sales

DLC and Rebates

How is DLC 4.2 Affecting Rebates?

Earlier this year, Design Lights Consortium (or “DLC”) implemented a new version of their LED specifications. They were meant to further advance LED technology in the marketplace and, for most LED products, it required improved efficacy (increased lumens per watt). On April 1st, products that did not meet this specification were removed from the DLC list. While this specification change was announced 6 months before, it still caused a lot of confusion in the marketplace. For manufacturers, meeting these new requirements was not easy, often requiring a significant redesign to their products in order to achieve the higher targets. It’s been reported that almost 40% of the products were removed from the DLC list during this transition.

  • Why does it matter?
  • How are rebate programs handling DLC 4.2?
  • Are DLC 3.0 products now obsolete and useless for rebates?

See the full article

Rebate Trends for 2017

Rebate Trends for 2017

2017 is shaping up to be another great year for rebates and incentives in North America. Over the past few months, rebate organizations have been busy updating their offerings and preparing their 2017 programs. While some programs ended at the end of 2016, others programs have received new funding and started providing rebates again. Right now, 79% of the country is covered by an active commercial lighting rebate program.

Looking at the new programs for this year, we've seen a few other trends.

See the 2017 trends

Best Areas for Rebates

Where Are the Best Areas for Lighting Rebates?

The number one question we get is, “Where are the best lighting rebates in the country?” This question makes sense. Customers with multiple locations, nationwide distributors and contractors all want to focus on those regions with the highest rebates. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question to answer because rebates can vary so much. While there’s no clear-cut answer, we can provide some guidance.

Learn more

Rebates for LED Linear Fluorescent Replacements

Rebates for LED Tubes: Huge Opportunity But Hard To Get

As the efficiency of LED tubes has increased, and prices have come down considerably, we see an enormous amount of projects where T12 and T8 solutions are being replaced by LED Tubes. With the market for LED Tubes really taking off, many rebate programs have adapted their guidelines to allow rebates for these products. Unfortunately though, as these rebate programs have been rolled out, they have also created a lot of confusion in the market place. As opposed to the relatively straightforward one-for-one LED screw-in lamp upgrades, with these projects you have to worry about ballasts and wiring options. On top of that complexity, there are 3 different types of LED Tube technologies available; Type A, Type B and Type C.

Click here to see the learn more about the different lamp types and see what rebates are available.

5 Things You Should Know About Lighting Rebates

5 Things You Should Know About Lighting Rebates

Rebates and incentives for commercial lighting are not always as straightforward as people may think. From making sure you get pre-approval to choosing the right products, there's a lot you need to know to make sure you get your money. Click here to leran the 5 things everyone should know about lighting rebates.

Illuminating outdoor rebates

Illuminating Outdoor Rebates (infographic)

LED outdoor lighting is rapidly gaining in popularity due to tremendous energy and maintenance savings. These solutions can also qualify for significant rebates across most of the US. Click through to see an infographic showing the types of rebates available.

See the infographic and learn more by clicking here.

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Cashing in on LED Rebates (Infographic)

LED rebates are growing more and more popular, so we created this helpful guide to show you how rebates can help with your LED lighting installations. It shows the total rebate opportunity, some key facts about the process and the range of rebates for which you may be eligible.

See the full infographic here.

Don't Forget Your Rebate Pre-approval

When thinking about an upcoming energy efficiency project, most people want to take advantage of available rebates and incentives, but they forget to allocate an appropriate amount of time for the pre-approval process. Many rebate providers require pre-approval prior to installation to be eligible for program funds.

We analyzed the time required to get pre-approvals across the nation by looking at our project database that tracks the thousands of projects we complete each year. On average, it takes 29 days from the day you first submit paperwork until you get pre-approval for a project; an increase from the 26 days we recorded last year. That time does not take into account any time spent finding the correct rebate program, filling out paperwork, gathering spec sheets, getting the proper signatures, etc.

Learn more about the pre-approval times.

Lights Out for T12 Rebates?

As you may already know, manufacturers had to stop producing most popular T12 lamps after July 2012. How did the T12 phase-out affect lighting rebates? A lot of rebate programs adapted their 2013 rules to reduce incentives for any lighting upgrades coming from T12. Some programs removed incentives entirely while others reduced the dollar amounts that were available. As a result, the average prescriptive rebate for a T12 to T8 lamp and ballast retrofit decreased by 16% from 2012. In the future, we expect the rebates for this category to continue decreasing and possibly disappear as rebate and incentive programs are revised for 2014.

Learn more about T12 rebates.

Energy Efficiency Rebates Projected to Grow

A recent report by the Berkeley National Laboratory projects that spending on energy efficiency programs will continue to grow and will reach between $6.5 - 15.6 billion by 2025. The study looked at efficiency programs as reported by the CEE in 2010 and then created low, medium and high scenarios for future years based on the potential outcomes under the current policy environment.

Most of the increase in funding is attributed to state legislative savings requirements and regulations, although some of the increase is also driven by utility DSM planning. This increase would mean a growth of 2-8% per year. In comparison, spending grew at 5% per year from 1997-2006 and 26% from 2006-2010.

New Calculators Help You See The Savings

We recently launched several new calculators that can help analyze the benefits of an energy efficiency upgrade.

  • Financial Calculator - lets you perform a detailed analysis of a lighting upgrade. It will provide you with annual energy savings, the payback time, ROI and a chart to visualize the savings.
  • Energy Savings Calculator - lets you quickly calculate how much energy you will save with an energy efficiency upgrade. It will show you the kW and kWh savings, your estimated annual energy savings and the environmental impact.
  • Custom Rebate Calculator - helps you estimate the rebate per fixture for rebate programs that specify the rebate in terms of kW, kWh or watts saved.

New Construction Can Get Rebates Too!

Although a lot of people are aware of rebates for installing energy efficient equipment in older facilities, few people realize that rebates and incentives may also be available for new construction projects. Unlike retrofit projects which base rebates on how much energy is saved compared to the old equipment, new construction programs often base the incentives on the savings over a building code, most commonly a version of ASHRAE 90.1. Programs can cover equipment such as HVAC systems, interior lighting, exterior lighting, refrigeration, kitchen equipment and more.

High Rebates for High Bay Fixtures

Rebates for lighting in commercial buildings are available for a variety of products and solutions in the marketplace. They cover everything from standard A19 incandescent replacements, to linear fluorescents and metal halide fixtures. A category which has particularly strong incentives is high bay fixtures.

Whether replacing antiquated T12HO systems or inefficient HID systems, installing fluorescent, pulse start metal halide, LED or induction high bay fixtures can save on energy costs, provide better light levels and also bring in high rebates. In fact, rebates can be as high as $400 per high bay fixture in some parts of North America.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Rebate Check?

One question that we frequently hear from our customers is, "How long does it take to get a rebate check?" To answer the question, we looked at several thousands of projects we completed across the nation and created a graph to illustrate how long it took to receive the final rebate check after installation. The average amount of time it takes is 70 days, but it can take as long as 120 days.

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